Ikat is a complicated process demanding much patience, considerable design skill, and a good geometric imagination.
Ikats may be either warp ikat (the longer threads), weft ikat (the threads perpendicular to the warp), or double ikat (warp and weft). Ikat patterning ranges from simple star or check patterns to full figurative imagery done in many colours. Such ikats, especially when worked in silk, are among the most costly and prestigious of textiles. Ikat is done throughout India and in many other parts of the world. Read more about technique here.
Telangana and Andhra Pradesh
We work with a number of ikat weaving communities in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. We commission shawls, scarves, and meters of running fabric that we use in our clothing and bedding. We are also very excited to begin working with a special ikat design which is woven in Telangana and then hand block printed by kalamkari printers on the Coromandel Coast.
Odisha (formerly Orissa)
Ikat weaving, with its highly distinctive patterning, is one of the ways that colour and motif come to be associated with a particular area. The Sambalpur Sari is an example of this. Borders, motifs and colour patterns can identify particular weaving villages. An ikat speaks of its origins in an eloquent and timeless voice.
Odisha also produces figurative ikat. The distinctive renderings of stylized people are part of the Dhokra tribal heritage of Chhattisgarth and Odisha. The tying of kit resist threads may be done almost anywhere and it is common to see friends sitting on a porch with a weft frame in their lap, working a design.
Maiwa works with ikat craftspeople throughout India, encouraging a return to natural dyes, which firmly establishes ikat as a high-quality cloth. We also actively work to incorporate ikat into clothing and bedding to promote this exquisite combination of weaving and dyeing.